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Sale marks more progress at 'Stonehenge' in North Natomas

By Ben van der Meer - Staff Writer, Sacramento Business Journal
October 8, 2018

North Natomas’ infamous unfinished office park won’t remain that way much longer.

After a recent sale of one completed building, the Woodland-based owners plan to finish another, even without a tenant in place.

Scott Bennett, a senior vice president with Colliers International Sacramento who’s representing those owners, said he’s confident a tenant will emerge.

“We’re just plowing ahead,” he said. “It’s easier to show a building when it’s shiny and new.”

Natomas Pointe Plaza, south of Del Paso Road and west of East Commerce Way, still has three 20,000-square-foot buildings and a single 30,000-square-foot building to complete.

Property records show the California State Employees Association bought the newest completed structure of 20,000 square feet at 2971 Benefit Way in the last month. The association paid $3.4 million, according to property records, with Natomas Pointe Investors LLC listed as the seller.

Scott Kingston, of Turton Commercial Real Estate, said the association will make the building its new headquarters, moving in early 2019. CSEA sold its current home, an office building at 1108 O St. in downtown Sacramento, earlier this year.

“They wanted to right-size, be more efficient, more modern,” said Kingston, who represented CSEA in the deal. The association had been at 1108 O St. since 1962, but wasn’t occupying as much of the building as it used to, he said.

CSEA has tabbed architecture firm NORR and SSW Construction Corp. as contractor for the interiors for the new office, with plans to spend about $2 million on tenant improvements, Kingston said.

“It’s an opportunity to start with a blank slate,” he said.

A representative of CSEA could not be reached for comment Friday.

For a number of years, Natomas Pointe Plaza had the less flattering nickname of Stonehenge, referring to the stark appearance of the erected walls for future office buildings. The project, then formally known as Natomas Crossings III, stopped in its tracks about a decade ago amid the financial implosion of then-owner and disgraced developer Abe Alizadeh, who filed for bankruptcy.

Court proceedings, as well as the recession and a moratorium on building in Natomas, kept anything from moving forward at Natomas Pointe for years afterward.

Bennett said the current owners plan to continue finishing buildings as they can. Plenty of nearby construction should help, he added.

“It’s exciting to see speculative development and buildings going up again,” he said. “We are finally transforming Stonehenge into something that benefits the community.”

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